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November 6, 2007

Memphis holds off pesky Richmond

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Freshman Derrick Rose had 21 points to help No. 3 Memphis beat Richmond 80-63 on Tuesday night in the 2K Sports College Hoops Classic, spoiling the Spiders' hopes of scoring the first upset of

The freshman guard was 6-for-8 for the field and overcame early foul trouble to spark the Tigers (2-0), who found themselves trailing at home with less than 13 minutes to play. Rose was named the most valuable player of the Memphis regional, scoring 38 points in the first two rounds of the tournament that benefits Coaches vs. Cancer.

David Gonzalez had 25 points for Richmond (1-1), including the first nine points of the second half. Gonzalez was 4-of-7 from 3-point range to lead Richmond, which was trying to beat its highest ranked opponent in school history.

The Spiders' last win against a ranked opponent came in January, when they defeated No. 18 Kansas. Richmond has never defeated a top 5 team.

Chris Douglas-Roberts had 19 points and nine rebounds for Memphis, while Robert Dozier added nine points and eight rebounds.

Jarhon Giddings had 11 points and seven rebounds for Richmond, which fatigued late against the Tigers' full-court press.

Rose led a 14-2 run that gave Memphis the lead for good after trailing 48-46. The Tigers made free throws down the stretch to preserve the lead and extend their home winning streak to 34 games, the longest current streak in the nation.

The Tigers got off to a slow start for the second straight game.

Memphis struggled to penetrate Richmond's zone defense, and was forced to shoot from the perimeter. The first 19 of 26 field goal attempts by the Tigers were from beyond the arc, and they finished shooting just 36 percent from long range.

Early foul trouble also left Memphis shorthanded, with Douglas-Roberts, Rose and Dozier all picking up their third foul in the first 5 minutes of the second half.

Richmond took advantage of the Tigers' poor shooting and 18 turnovers.

Gonzalez scored seven consecutive points to give Richmond, which started 6-for-9 from 3-point range, a 29-22 lead.

Reserve Willie Kemp had 11 points as Memphis took a 40-39 halftime lead.

Memphis starting forward Joey Dorsey was not in uniform, missing his second straight game with a right shoulder sprain. Dorsey was hurt during a scrimmage against Saint Louis on Oct. 27. He is expected to play in the semifinals.

The Tigers will play in the semifinals at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 15.



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